Rains disrupt life in Agra, threaten crops

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 16, 2013 18:20 hrs

Agra, Feb 16 (IANS) Heavy rains disrupted life in the Taj city Saturday while farmers in the region were worried over the untimely showers that have damaged standing mustard and potato crops and threaten the wheat crop too.

It poured heavily the entire day, surprising people who had packed of their woollens. The number of visitors at the Taj Mahal came down as tourists sought cover from the chilly winds and rain.

The city streets were flooded and the low-lying areas along the open drains were under knee-deep water. Children returning from schools were caught unawares as the downpour continued for more than two hours in the afternoon.

A large number of vehicles were stranded on the MG Road as water-logging made movement difficult.

The weather office has forecast more rains for Sunday.

Sudhier Gupta, a resident of Vijay Nagar colony, said: "We thought after Basant Panchami, it was time to pack the woollens and get set for summer, but today's downpour has brought the chill back."

"The rains have been widespread in the rural hinterland," said Manik Chand of Fatehpur Sikri.

Farmers were especially worried.

Ravi Singh, a farmer of Barauli Ahir block told IANS that "the damage has been extensive".

"Some fields are water-logged, after heavy showers, gusty winds and hail. The wheat plants are flat. One hopes the sky clears off in the next 24 hours, otherwise trouble is in store for sure."

He said the abrupt rise in the water level in Yamuna has destroyed the summer crops of watermelons, melons and kakri, and forecast a steep price hike of these fruits and vegetables this summer.

"From Delhi to Agra and beyond, the entire crop on the river bed has been washed off, as they released water for the Kumbh mela without notice. The water level went up by two to three feet. The plants were swept off."

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